DAPSY calls on Malaysian
government to play the leading role within ASEAN to free Aung San Suu
Kyi and drive Myanmar towards the road of democracy before a golden
opportunity slipped by
by Loke Siew Fook
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The 9th ASEAN Summit which will be held in Bali on October 7-8 provides a golden opportunity for international community and in particular South East Asian governments to pressure the Myanmar military junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi, start real national reconciliation and put Myanmar to the road of democracy.
A report in Asian Times today said that, “Interviews with Myanmar leaders, diplomats and analysts show that they are closely following reports that Yangon is under increased pressure from Southeast Asian governments to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before a regional summit next month - and that new Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt may take some new steps to restart the dialogue with her”.
It was reported that the new Prime Minister Khin Nyunt plans to reconvene the National Convention and to restart the process of drafting a new constitution for Myanmar as part of his so-called “seven-stage roadmap to democracy”. ASEAN governments must send a loud and clear message to the military junta that they must first fulfill three conditions before their proposal of “roadmap to democracy” is taken seriously, ie;
1) To free Aung San Suu Kyi immediately from unlawful detention by the junta.
2) The junta must make a commitment to involve Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the National Convention and drafting of the new constitution.
3) The junta must draw up an immediate time-table for the seven-point roadmap to democracy and allow a mechanism by ASEAN to ensure the time-table is met at every stage.
The Malaysian government must play a leading role in ASEAN to pressure the military junta to meet all the above three conditions failing which the Myanmar military junta must be excluded from the ASEAN Summit in Bali and its membership in ASEAN be expelled immediately.
It must be noted that it was the Malaysian government who strongly promoted the military junta into ASEAN, hoping that by doing so there will be progressive changes in Myanmar. It is clear now that the military junta has failed to respect international norms and hopes for a democratic Myanmar. Such a member country should not have any place in ASEAN.
* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary